Science and technology clearly have a profound influence on society, but the reverse is also true: society significantly shapes the ways in which science and technology evolve. Economic interests, public opinion and policy shifts are decisive for the shaping of science and technology. However, experience has shown that scientists on the one hand and the general public, government and businesses on the other aren’t always able to clearly understand one another. That is why experts with a background in science and an understanding of social processes are indispensable.
Scientific expertise and societal practices
The Master’s specialisation in Science in Society
will therefore teach you the skills and knowledge you’ll need to build a bridge between scientific expertise and societal practices. The issues you’ll deal with in the future will probably be connected to your own scientific background. Therefore, you’ll become a biologist, chemist, mathematician, etc. that can reflect on the implications of scientific results and can give advice on how to turn this knowledge into practical use for policymaking or communication purposes. This reflection will not just be scientific; you’ll also learn how to detect the philosophical, political and ethical side of issues. You’ll make scientists familiar with social perceptions as much as you’ll be advising governments and businesses or informing the general public.
This intermediary role is highly sought after and will prepare you for a dynamic career in various fields and work environments such as policy, advisory bodies, interest groups and governments, as well as interdisciplinary research that connects science and society. Although not part of the compulsory part of the programme, this specialisation can also prepare you for the field of science journalism or communication, for you can make that the focus of your graduation project.